Saturday, April 20, 2019

El cheapo ski weekend

An el cheapo weekend activity: at Ylläs up North but since we're doing the 24 hour race, u don't need a hotel. 2 hours in, 22 to go. A lot of fun, old friends and, well, basically going fast & non-stop

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. My skiing stories can be found from Blogspot and Teton Gravity Research, as well as of course Planetskier.Net!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Stuck in the parking lot

Didn't start. Leaving it at the office parking lot and taking the train, will return to investigate after some travel. Maybe broken, maybe fuel.

Photo and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Follow my adventures from Blogspot.


Today's Volvo story is first two buses to get to buy a fuel canister. Then...

And a taxi ...

and ...

And it started!!! Can't say I expected that. Started... barely though and it could be just random. Let's see if it starts in the afternoon...

Photo and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Follow my adventures from Blogspot.

It runs!

Volvo. It runs nicely. After refuelling I calculated how much fuel must have been left before the canister, and got to "-2 litres", so... And all this time I have been blaming the car.

Photo and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Follow my adventures from Blogspot.

Back in the S.A.U.N.A.

After two weeks with stiches, finally got the OK to go back to the sauna again. Bliss!

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Levi Hotel Spa

After the Ylläs competition, I first had a quick shower and sauna at the Pöllö next to the slopes. But since I had a long wait for my flight, I wanted to visit a proper spa. I had not been in the Levi Hotel Spa near the airport in a long time, so time for that today!

It turned out that the Levi Hotel Spa had been extended greatly in the meantime. It was a truly great place now, with outdoor pool, 2 outdoor hot jacuzzis, two new saunas -- steam and kelo -- and plenty of new pools and even a waterslide inside. Much recommended!

The visit to the spa is free for hotel guests, but if you're not a guest -- like me, sleeping in my car on this trip :-) -- it costs 22€ per visit. But there was a Plussakortti-tarjous for 15€, which was quite reasonable for this kind of a spa.

Photo by Levi Hotel Spa. Text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. And all my sauna and swimming stories can of course be found from and web sites!

Three passports

Today I renewed my primary passport. With the recently renewed secondary passport, and the just expired one, there's now a stack of three passports in front of me! The expired has served well though, and will be decommissioned properly.

I have to say the behaviour of the police passport office was odd. Last year when I applied for a renewal of my secondary passport with a ton of supporting documenting, they called me back, saying that now that I have it, I don't have to provide any evidence when I renew my other, primary passport. Yet, of course I had to provide the same explanations again and visit the office. But, in the end the passport was given to me in two days after visiting the office. So not too bad. And the Finnish passports are very good for travelling around the world. I only wish they would be valid for longer, like they used to be (10 years).

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Read all my travel and other stories from!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Underground Tallinn

I had an opportunity to visit Tallinn for a couple of hours yesterday, and the obvious question was whether there'd be anything underground to visit. And there is, Kiek in de Kök bastion tunnels. But, they were closed on Monday. Luckily, however,  we run into an old bunker under the Tallinn Meremuuseum.

The Meremuuseum is the northernmost tip of the Tallinn old town, a short walk from the harbour. The bunker turned out to be a gun shop, CitySec. It did feel weird to enter the door and not know what's really inside... a series of turns in a green corridor, until one reaches the main shop room. I have to say though, I don't like guns and people who feel like they need to have a mirror in the shop to buy riot control gear or guns have to be... a bit odd. But to each to his own, I guess.

The coordinates of the shop are N 59.4422 E 24.7503.

Also, the city walls ("Linnamüür") were open, and quite interesting to visit for only 2€. See above picture for the stairs inside the wall's towers. Visiting the walls is much recommended!


Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All my caving and urban exploration articles can be found from and of course blogspot and TGR!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Skiareál Klínovec

While I've already skied in Czech Republic, I wanted to see if I could briefly visit a nearby ski area after my monster 8-day meeting was over. And I found Skiareál Klínovec!

This is a medium-sized ski area, that was running well on the last days of March, plenty of snow left. The ski area is right on the German-Czech border, and there's actually a German-side ski area as well, even if the actual ski slopes do not cross the border. The ski area is easy to get to from Prague, just 1.5 hour drive away. I had fun skiing in the sun, and using the yellow-bubble-covered chair lifts.

You can park either at the bottom (on multiple sides) or at the top. Ticket sales exist only at the bottom lifts, and there's more restaurants and other services at the bottom stations.

The ski runs are in general relatively easy, but the longest run, slope nr 1, Jáchymovská, is the most interesting as it winds around the forest, dropping steeply into the valley from the top of the Klínovec (see map).

More lift pictures:


The tower at the top of the mountain. Sadly, these old buildings are roped off and not used. Perhaps in danger of collapsing? There's only very simple cottage for a restaurant at the top.

This article has also appeared in TGR. Tämä artikkeli löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. And all my articles can of course be found from, blogspot, TGR, and Relaa! Photos, videos, and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Karlovy Vary

For afterski, I felt like I needed a shower. But maybe not just that... perhaps a sauna, or a dip into a pool. How about the divine thermal bath waters of Zámecké Lázně in the nearby Karlovy Vary?

It was divine. Very smooth, nice water.

Karlovy Vary is by the way a great find. I had not heard about it before, but it feels like a historic city center with grand buildings, except that it is tiny, and the buildings are lodged in a small valley, hidden from view. Yet, it is wonderful, and packed with spas and thermal baths.

All my articles can of course be found from, saunablogger.coolblogspotTGR, and Relaa! Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. Pool area photos taken with permission.

Cool ride

Cool ride this morning, only for 750€ for the repairs

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Communism and bunker tour

Lets say that the tour guide was not a big fan of communism.

The tour visited key sites of Czechoslovakian history, from the building of the secret police to the sites demonstrations for freedom.

We also got to visit the cold war bunker at the Parukarka park. What we found was a freak show of gas masks and protective gear for everyone, from soldiers to babies. Unexplained mannequins hiding in the darkness. Machine guns pointing to audience seats. Stalin heads on shelves. Very unpleasant imagery. But interesting.

The structure itself looks like this:

At the bottom of the main entrance, there's a bar of a club that used the bunker in the early days of the free Czech Republic. 

The tour runs every day twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The tour lasts 2 and 1/2 hours and can be booked here.

This article has also appeared in TGR. And all my caving and urban exploration articles can be found from, and of course blogspot and TGR!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Greetings from the Volvo repair guy

Greetings, a picture... and a doubled bill. Uh. More rust than expected.

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. By the way, all my stories can be found from!

R2-D2 bunker

A bunker. A ventilation shaft. R2-D2 mod. What's not to like?

I'm in Prague for work, and after the workshop had an half an hour of light left, so Tero and I went to see the R2-D2 in the Folimanka park, just a few kilometres from old town. Even if slightly vandalised, it was great.

I also didn't know about the bunker beforehand. There's apparently a large bunker underneath, and it is open to the public once a month. Sadly, not during my stay in Prague, as the next opening is on April 13, three weeks from now.

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. All my urban exploration and caving stories can of course be found from, and This article has also been published at TGR.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Technical stuff breakage day

My car is now left for good care for the next week and half while I'm on a business trip. They are fixing the rusted corner... crossing fingers that the budget won't be exceeded. Also, my dishwasher and oven broke, so there's a repair guy fixing them as well today. Luckily, same brand, so one repair guy only... sadly he didn't do cars though :-)

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Building HEL

Building the future of HEL... yeah right. It is hellish right now, as the traffic to the airport and parking arrangements are pretty unbearable.

The airport authorities are complaining that people leave their cars on the road, blocking people to get to their flights, and that's very bad of course. But the setup with narrow passages and far away parking garages and walkways that are not maintained is also pretty bad. I think one might have been able to do this better. Why demolish P2, the main garage *and* have major works in the backup garage P4 as well? Or, at the very least, maintain the walking passages well so that people with luggage and skis can actually use their carts to get to the airport.

But yeah. This is survivable, just another first world problem... and the airport will be much better in the end. And also, I've been taking the train to the airport now some times, and unless I have luggage it works out pretty well!

Photos and text (c) 2019 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. More of my stories are available at and